How do you clean your strings after practicing?

June 10, 2010 at 03:27 PM ·


I was wondering how do you clean your strings after practicing.I´ve heard that many use alcohol.Others say water is good.Others just use a soft towel.But do you know of any "cleaner" specifically made for strings?



June 10, 2010 at 03:34 PM ·

I don't clean after every practice, but when I do, I just use a rough washcloth to clean off the strings, then I use a soft cleaning cloth to clean the violin itself.  I have never used any cleaning concoctions.

June 10, 2010 at 05:08 PM ·

How do I clean strings? I hold a dry cloth and wipe back and forth.  I will also pinch the string I am cleaning with the clean cloth.  I will do this through out my practice & performance periods.

June 10, 2010 at 05:44 PM ·

I use a microfiber cloth after every playing session. I find it more effective than simple diaper-quality cotton cloths. I use the cotton cloths to wipe the strings dry after I ahve alcohol-cleaned them (about once a week for cello strings and avery 2 to 4 weeks for violin strings). I use a nylon "scubbie" if the microfiber still leaves a squeekiness on the string.

The "thumbnail" scape works while still playing (learned that from a retired SFO violinist), but I think there are better ways.


June 10, 2010 at 06:26 PM ·

There is a perfect string cleaner, it is called Spit on Rag. I saw the Symphony players use it. I tried it and the strings does not even squeal. 


June 10, 2010 at 09:38 PM ·

 Microfiber clothe everytime I finsh playing. Works fine. There is no need for cleaners if you regularly clean your strings.

June 10, 2010 at 11:33 PM ·

A little alcohol on a rag gets the rosin off beautifully once a week or so. Turn the violin upside down in case you are careless and get too much alcohol on the rag. Just enough alcohol to make the cloth damp as you pinch the string between the fingers with the alcohol dampened cloth. But after practicing every day I wipe the strings off well with a dry cloth. Alcohol works well with wiping the chinrest to help keep those painful irritations at bay. You can also use the slightly damp alcohol rag on the bridge to get the rosin dust off. The immediate sound improvement after weeks of playing is noticeable. If it's just damp you're not going to drip any on the violin top.

June 10, 2010 at 11:44 PM ·

Oh I just use a tea-towel and wipe it off gently, nothing special really

June 11, 2010 at 12:24 PM ·

There have been previous threads on this.  You can use a cork from a wine bottle to clean strings.  This avoids using any liquid that can accidentally get on the instrument and does not make all the noise of a cloth.

June 11, 2010 at 01:41 PM ·

Here is one recent thread:

June 12, 2010 at 02:35 AM ·

I use a microfiber cloth and swipe it along my strings violently a few times, making everybody around me cringe.

Once a week, I use Royal Oak All Purpose Instrument Cleaner to clean off my strings.

June 12, 2010 at 08:43 PM ·

I use the plastic thing my rosin block comes in as "my finger nail" alternative. I wipe strings with a ripped t-shirt.. and when that doesn't work - I break out my bottle of Lewis "FiddleBrite"  - it's a polish for the violin wood - but also makes resin just disappear... and dripping on the violin - is recommended... then you wipe and it polishes everything. If I ever notice that it starts to make my strings squeak.. (which it hasn't yet)... I'll consider surgical "alcohol" treatment.. but so far - so good!


August 5, 2010 at 03:23 PM ·

I have been using Microfiber clothes, and quite pleased with it as it take the rosin away immediately, keep the dust in itself instead of just wipe the dust from this point to the other point. I also use it to remove my finger prints on the whole body, and cleanse chin rest due to my oily skin.

August 5, 2010 at 03:39 PM ·

Update:  I threw away the old washcloth and started using a microfiber cloth when I changed strings recently.  I just wipe the strings after each session and wipe the body.  This seems to prevent any build up of rosin on the strings.

August 5, 2010 at 05:50 PM ·

I use a cork and a soft cloth. A cork from a wine bottle works best. Cut a small groove in the cork and run it over the strings when you are finished playing. Then follow up with a soft  cloth to get the last bit of rosin residue off the strings and body of the violin.  If you lose, or break the cork, you get to drink another bottle of wine.

August 5, 2010 at 09:51 PM ·

Injection swabs. Available from any chemist. Just be prepared for a few funny looks!

I make sure I have a cloth covering the varnish in case of any drips.

In previous years, I've seen fellows use after-shave and the girls use perfume. A rather expensive method, but the orchestra smelt gorgeous!

August 6, 2010 at 01:23 PM ·

just wipe down your instrument with a soft or micro fiber cloth after each time you play.

August 6, 2010 at 08:28 PM ·

i have to agree with just wiping it down with a cloth.  I would never ever use alcohol.  Firstly, i wouldn't risk having anything like that touch the varnish.  i think Yehudi Menhuin mentioned he used cologne or something like that.  I wouldn't.  I don't believe you'll get all the rosin off and you'll leave behind a liquid film of dissolved rosin that will harden on your string and defeat the whole purpose anyway. 

If you use gut strings, they will fray if you rub them too much. 


I just take my handkerchief, give the strings one fast swipe with enough pressure to pull SOME of the rosin off, and then I dust off the violin of any flakes of rosin and put it away.  Never had a problem. 

August 6, 2010 at 10:17 PM ·

I clean them by adding more rosin on them the next day...

August 7, 2010 at 12:10 AM ·

Wipe the fiddle on my shirt front, then brush the rosin off the shirt. Takes 5 seconds.

August 7, 2010 at 01:09 PM ·

I used alcohol once, when I was changing over to a new kind of rosin.  Normally I just use a soft cotton (diaper-like) cloth after every practice -- with the occasional thumb-nail treatment for good measure.

August 7, 2010 at 11:53 PM ·

 I discovered pantyhose.  Really - gets all the rosin right off the strings!

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